Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Indians, ace of UCSB’s pitching staff during its College World Series season of 2016, has been named as the American League Pitcher of the Month for August.
In six starts last month, Bieber compiled a win-loss record of 6-0 and an earned run average of 1.63 while striking out 57. He had 10 or more strikeouts in five of those outings.
The Elias Sports Bureau reported that Bieber’s current total of 84 strikeouts are the most by a starter through their first 50 innings of a season in MLB history.
Sandy Alomar Jr., the Indians’ temporary manager, said Bieber’s composure sets him apart from other pitchers.
“He knows what he has to do,” he said. “Even the days he struggles with his command, he finds ways to throw strikes and not walk people and keep the ball in the ballpark. So he’s a very composed young man, and he’s showing it right now.
“He keeps the ball down, spins when he needs to spin, he knows the scouting report really well and he’s executing.”
Bieber leads the AL in ERA (1.20), wins (six) and innings (52 2/3) in addition to strikeouts (84). He is tied for the league lead for lowest opponent’s batting average (.163) and ranks second to Minnesota’s Kenta Maeda in WHIP (0.82).
Bieber, who won the MVP Award in last year’s All-Star Game, has also recorded eight or more strikeouts in all eight of this year’s starts. Bob Feller is the only Cleveland Indians pitcher to have compiled a longer streak, having struck out at least eight batters in his first nine starts of 1946.
GOLFER COMMITS TO WESTMONT
Autumn Jon Bier of Merced’s El Capitan High School has committed to play for the Westmont College women’s golf team this year.
“We had some unexpected losses on the women’s team and Autumn stepped in so we could field a full roster,” coach Tom Knecht pointed out. “She was a four-year varsity player for her high school and is passionate about the game. I’m excited to see what Autumn can do this year.”
Bier qualified for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Divisional championships during both her junior and senior seasons. She shot a season-best 41 for nine holes against Atwater High School last season.
Westmont, which started its women’s golf program just last year, also received a prior commitment from Fresno’s Sloane Bayer.
SWIM SEASON DELAYED
The Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference has canceled next month’s swimming relays and pentathlon because of the COVID-19 pandemic and moved its championship meet from February to April 14-17 to an as yet undetermined location.
“It was going to be stressful trying to get back on campus, get training and get ready to go by February,” coach Jill Jones Lin said. “In talking with some of the athletes, it was a big weight off their shoulders knowing they would still have time to prepare, especially with the delay of returning to campus.”
Westmont swimmers are tentatively scheduled to open their season on the road at the La Verne Winter Invitational on Nov. 20-22.